Weiner’s a fool but there’s more here than meets the eye

The bigotbasher at The Conservative Lie had a good post this week on the scandal-de-jour as it relates to other interesting events in our national life – he speculates about why Weiner’s predilection for adolescent sexual behavior came out at this time and what that might have to do with Justice Thomas and Obamacare and Citizens’ United and a recent letter Weiner wrote Thomas saying he should recuse himself on the Obamacare and charging him with a financial conflict of interest on Citizens’ United.

Speaking truth to power can have terrible consequences (power of course means the monied interests). For instance, I’ve always believed:

  • Elliot Spitzer’s fascination with prostitutes was known in political and financial circles, but it wasn’t till the old  Sheriff of Wall Street gained some regulatory power as Governor that it all hit the front pages.
  • Julian Assange’s transformation from internet bad boy to international criminal happened after he announced the pending release of damning documents relating to the practices of Bank of America.

Also, while looking for an image  to use here, I came across this story at NEWS ONE: For Black America.

For months, Rep. Weiner has prompted Thomas to disclose the money his wife, Virginia Thomas made working for Liberty Central, a political organization that has openly opposed President Obama’s health care reform agenda. According to Weiner, Mrs. Thomas’ political affiliations put the justice’s impartiality on the bench in question.

Details of Virginia Thomas’ salary and other payments were disclosed Friday night as the press and most Americans prepared for the Memorial Day weekend.

But guess what happened the next day and dominated the news cycle for the next week? Yup. Never really saw that Ginny Thomas story anywhere.

Here’s the letter Weiner wrote Thomas that precipitated the document release by Ginny Thomas.

The Honorable Justice Clarence Thomas
United States Supreme Court Building
1 First Street Northeast
Washington D.C., DC 20543
Dear Justice Thomas:

As an Associate Justice, you are entrusted with the responsibility to exercise the highest degree of discretion and impartiality when deciding a case. As Members of Congress, we were surprised by recent revelations of your financial ties to leading organizations dedicated to lobbying against the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. We write today to respectfully ask that you maintain the integrity of this court and recuse yourself from any deliberations on the constitutionality of this act.

The appearance of a conflict of interest merits recusal under federal law. From what we have already seen, the line between your impartiality and you and your wife’s financial stake in the overturn of healthcare reform is blurred. Your spouse is advertising herself as a lobbyist who has “experience and connections” and appeals to clients who want a particular decision – they want to overturn health care reform. Moreover, your failure to disclose Ginny Thomas’s receipt of $686,589 from the Heritage Foundation, a prominent opponent of healthcare reform, between 2003 and 2007 has raised great concern.

This is not the first case where your impartiality was in question. As Common Cause points out, you “participated in secretive political strategy sessions, perhaps while the case was pending, with corporate leaders whose political aims were advanced by the <5-4> decision” on the Citizens United case. Your spouse also received an undisclosed salary paid for by undisclosed donors as CEO of Liberty Central, a 501(c)(4) organization that stood to benefit from the decision and played an active role in the 2010 elections.

Given these facts, there is a strong conflict between the Thomas household’s financial gain through your spouse’s activities and your role as an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court. We urge you to recuse yourself from this case. If the US Supreme Court’s decision is to be viewed as legitimate by the American people, this is the only correct path.

We appreciate your thoughtful consideration of this request.


21 responses to “Weiner’s a fool but there’s more here than meets the eye

  1. Moe,

    This conspiracy theory stuff is frankly beneath you. The Republican Party is in such disarray right now that it couldn’t organize a bachelor party at the Playboy Mansion, let alone hold on to information for just the right moment that exposed Wiener for…well exposing his wiener.

    Politicians on both the right and left get caught up in these scandals when they do stupid things and the information gets out. It’s that simple.

    Now Assange is different. His demise had little to do with BoA and more to do with leaking classified info. I’m actually shocked that he is still breathing right now.


    • Sean, in politics I’m not a big beleiver in coincidences. Politics is dirty (but we both love it!), it’s brutal, it’s brutish and lies and revenge are mother’s milk to the huge money to which most of our congress critters and I beleive – in the case of Clarence Thomas but no other justice – are in thrall. Just because something can be called a ‘conspiracy theory’ doesn’t mean it’s not true.

      It’s true that sometimes stuff just gets out and it’s true that too many of these guys think they’re masters of the universe and it’s okay for them, but it’s also true that there are serious people fighitng behind the scene over the direction of our country and it’s not just about taxes and welfare.


  2. Excellent analysis on this! An angle I had not heard elsewhere. Setting aside Weiner’s personal failings, I have trouble understanding why lies about one’s sexual behavior in office rise to the level they do in the eyes of the public, the media, and other officials when lies about huge moral issues such as going to war, weapons of mass destruction, and solutions to the budget and economic crisis draw no notice or serious concern. What is more immoral? To send a creepy tweet or to send men and women to war for a deceitful reason? To lie about one’s sexual behavior or to lie about how social service budget cuts will impact the lives of real people? I like your suggestion that we look at what is underneath many of these stories so we don’t miss the big picture when horrified by inappropriate behavior by an elected official like Weiner.


    • I agree Evan – as creepy as Weiner has revealed himself to be, he hasn’t been out there telling the rest of the nation how to behave in their bedrooms. When the offender is some dude who’s been ranting about sexual morality and ‘family values’ then his indiscretion very much rises to the level of our business.


  3. Pingback: Weiner's a fool but there's more here than meets the eye (via Whatever Works) « History Is Every Day

  4. Moe……Are you saying things aren’t on the level?

    Of course NOT!

    As I say over at the Dog…..
    Weiner may be dumb…
    But his district’s voters should be the judges…..
    Not the media….


  5. In the words of famed philosopher Artie Johnson – Interesting …. very interesting.


  6. @slf: james, howcome the different ‘handle’?


  7. Ms. Holland ,

    I agree with Sean . To blame Weiner’s enemies gives them too much credit . Let’s go with Weiner’s non sex sexual adventures as being no big deal , because as of yet there is no evidence of actual sexual activity . But come on , the guy should resign just for being stupid . It’s one thing to take a chance on a fling with people you know . You at least have a chance to keep it quiet . Schwarzenegger kept his love child secret from his enemies for his whole Governorship . So it can be done . But how stupid do you have to be to send out pictures of yourself to several women you don’t know in person , and think that those pictures won’t come out ?

    To link Justice Thomas to this scandal , with no evidence is quite a stretch . I have heard that Congressman Weiner had many enemies, even among his own Party . He certainly did not have the friends Charlie Wrangle had to stand up for him .


    • I’m not standing up for Weiner – he’s a jerk. And you’re right, he has few friends except perhaps Jon Stewart who spent an entire week eviscerating him, so that friendship is probably gone too.

      As for the Thomas story, Bretibart and Ginny Thomas and the news cycle – it’s speculation. But there’s an age old strategy of creating a diversion – works in war, works in politics. Hell, it works most everywehre. Guys like Weiner make themselves the low hanging fruit – ready for the picking when needed.


  8. Ms. Holland ,

    Just to set the record straight in the scandal history , remember the GOP scandals of 07-08 ? I’m not sure but I think it was Mark Foley and the Page scandal . I have heard that your guys knew about Foley a year before the scandal broke and sat on it until election time to get maximum mileage out of it . Since they took the House , I would say , the ” Culture of Corruption ” warfare was an overwhelming success . Now your guys did not worry that more pages could be victimized by Foley until they were ready to spring this .

    Contrast this with ‘ your ‘ guy Tony Weiner . If Republicans wanted maximum effect they would have outed Weiner a year from now . Just remember all of this when you next accuse Conservatives of dirty politics . Your guys are the masters . My guys are bumbling neophytes .


    • So you’re basically agreeing Alan – distraction as a political tactic is used a lot and when the best advantage can be gotten. Now neither ‘your guys’ nor ‘my guys’ (I hate that, I don’t htink of myself htat way) speak or act as one, so one man’s advantage comes at a different time as another man’s advantage.

      Anyway, I think the Foley story enforces my point about Spitzer, Weiner and Assange.


  9. Ms. Holland ,

    I suppose I am agreeing .


  10. Pingback: Justice Thomas Caught Up In Yet Another Ethical Tangle « The Fifth Column

  11. Pingback: Rep. Anthony Weiner’s Letter to Justice Thomas « The Fifth Column

  12. alexandria nolan

    Weiner was acting like a pit-bull, in his behaviour on the Thomas issue. And as I am sure the former Representitive now realizes, those in glass-houses should not throw stones. Probably not, but if Weiner, gets another shot at power, lets hope we see a little humility. As far as getting the dirt on the guy, they obvivously hacked his account at twitter, with the school girl, and hacked his e-mail account to learn of the porn star. Anthony needs to go back to smoke signals.


    • Yeah, Anthony definitely needs to learn some new social skills, but I have to admit alexandria that I liked that pit bull part of him. He was agressive and confrontational and it came from political passion.

      A little anger publicly expressed can be a good thing. It’s one of the things people are responding to with Gov Chris Christie in NJ – he’s candid, sometimes quite dismissive, even rude, and people eat it up because it’s real.


  13. Pingback: Thomas’ ethical problems in the spotlight « The Fifth Column

  14. griffithinsider

    Am writing a thesis on Public Trust in WikiLeaks, the Media and the Government and need to know what your opinions are. The online survey is multiple choice and will take approximately 10 minutes to complete. Please follow the link: http://www.kwiksurveys.com/?s=ILLLML_9669e09d Please encourage others to do the survey also.


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